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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

XII. Divines of the Church of England 1660–1700

§ 9. His Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles and Pastoral Care

His Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles (1699) was, for more than a century, as famous as Pearson’s Exposition of the Creed. Leibniz described it as “a system of theology in brief, extremely vigorous and profound, and, what is better, extremely temperate and logical.” Indeed, it represents the moderation of the English church, without any nebulousness or lack of vigour. As literature, it is remarkable chiefly for its clearness and the lucid compression of details into a coherent summary. The merits of his more spiritual writing are much more conspicuous. His ministration to the dissolute Rochester, who died a believer and a penitent, is one of the most touching memories of his life, and he has preserved it, as Some passages in the Life and Death of the right honorable John Earl of Rochester, 1680, in language of almost perfect piety, reticence and true charm. And his admirable book The Pastoral Care, 1692, is as straightforward and sensible in manner as it is in matter and opinion. Had he never written a word of history, he would still deserve a permanent place among English writers.